A woman who made negative comments about her former church on Google Comments is being sued (along with several others) by the pastor for defamation. This woman, whose name is Julie Anne, found that her comment mysteriously disappeared from the site, and when repeated comments were erased, she started a blog (Beaverton Grace Bible Church Survivors) addressing the legalism and spiritual abuse present at the church in Beaverton, Oregon.
Now if this story wasn't interesting enough, the pastor met with an elder from John MacArthur's church to receive counsel. He then claimed that the elder advised him to go ahead with the lawsuit. Phil Johnson was dragged into the fray and Grace Community Church is denying they gave this advice, pointing to their wide and staunch teaching against Christians suing other Christians in civil court as proof they would not do such a thing. (I believe Phil Johnson, by the way)
Subsequent to all this, many more people who have attended BGBC have come out and backed Julie Anne in the matter. So here we have a pastor who denies being legalistic and abusive by suing those who think so?
There are many more bizarre details than what I have outlined here, so you could follow the story at Julie Anne's blog, or sort through the last several weeks of posts at The Wartburg Watch (site temporarily down for maintenance as of this post). This case will have some far reaching effects in how social media interacts with religion. It is also yet another example in an increasing number of internet stories of authoritarianism and spiritual abuse reported by people who have been harmed by churches and their leaders.